The Latest From Our Blog

Sparking Speech

As a novice speech-language pathologist, I used to think there was really nothing I could do to spark speech in a non-verbal child.  I was wrong.  Research shows that alternative augmentative communication, such as sign language, promotes VOCAL language.   In addition, a procedure known as stimulus-stimulus pairing may also prompt talking. Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Stimulus-stimulus … more »

Teaching Repetition to Unlock Language

Several years ago I had the privilege of writing part of a chapter in a communication, behavior, and functional skills assessment and curriculum tool titled Essential for Living.  My goal when developing my contribution was to figure out how practitioners and parents, with little to no knowledge about speech and language development or therapy, could … more »

Language Therapy: The Case Against Carrier Phrases

I’ve recently written about the importance of teaching children requests as “first words” rather than animals, letters, numbers, or colors.  I’ve also been discussing the importance of avoiding general requests and social niceties.  For example, don’t teach the word “more” and refrain from prompting children to say “please” too early.  The list of “don’ts” continues … more »

Language Therapy: The Case Against the Word “Please”

In my last blog post, I discussed the reasons why it’s best to avoid teaching the word “more” as a first word.  Now, I’d like to make a case against the word “please.”  I’ve seen some practitioners teach “please” as a first word, and when this occurs, the pitfalls are largely the same as teaching … more »

First Words: The Case Against Teaching the Word “More”

When a parent tells me that their child has limited language, but has learned one word/sign, in my head, I say it in unison with the parent, “more.”  This is typically the “go to” first word or sign that speech-language pathologists and developmental therapists teach.  In fact, it’s the first word I taught before I … more »

Language Therapy: Where to Start?

The holy grail of language therapy goals is conversational language.  Parents understandably want to be able to ask their children about their day at school and for their children to tell them in return about the book read in library class or the game played during P.E.  I share in this goal with parents, and … more »

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